Re: SIG Meeting at IAJGS Conference #austria-czech

Sharla Levine <austriaczech@...>
 

Just to clarify, in response to Sally's message...

1. >from my perspective as SIG Coordinator, the purpose of the meeting was
to rejuvenate and motivate the group by generating volunteers to work on
projects that have been suggested. Vivian's explanation of organization
structure and position functions was to lay the groundwork so that people
would understand what they would be volunteering to do.

2. Yes, those in attendance were generally positive in terms of wanting to
see the SIG be more active.

3. Yes, Logan and Tom did volunteer to do things, but it was not clear to me
that they were willing to be Project Leaders. My previous message only
listed those who volunteered for leadership positions and verified such to
me outside of the meeting. Logan and Tom are on the short list of other
volunteers that I forwarded to Randy. That list includes those who
volunteered at the meeting and those who contacted me in response to a
previous solicitation online for volunteers. I found it a disappointing
result because I am looking at the total number of volunteers as a
percentage of the hundreds of members, not out of the 30 or so at the
meeting in NY.

4. In order to establish a project officially and be able to raise funds for
it, it must have a clear definition of scope and a volunteer to lead it, and
then it can be listed online so that people can contribute time and money to
it. JewishGen's role is to assist the SIG in accomplishing the projects by
handling the money, providing a forum for raising money, providing web space
for communications and project results, providing legal safeguards, and
experienced guidance and advice as well as negotiations with archives and
organizations on our behalf.

Many SIG members have offered ideas and suggestions for projects but are not
willing to be charge of them. At the meeting, I did list the various projects
that have been suggested previously but have gone nowhere because no one has
volunteered to leed the projects. Herein lies the catch-22 that Sally's message
pinpoints: IF YOU SUGGEST A PROJECT FOR THE SIG TO DO, YOU NEED TO COME UP
WITH A LEADER FOR THE PROJECT OR IT WILL NOT GET DONE. I have been saying
this for years, but people have not seemed to understand because they have
been complaining that the SIG hasn't been doing projects. Suggesting a
project doesn't make it happen - volunteers do. Even once a project is
established (leader found, scope defined, and cost estimated), it can't move
forward without additional volunteers to work on it. That is the reason I
invited Vivian to explain to everyone how things work and to emphasize that
point.

5. I would ask each person who attended the conference to write a synopsis
of the Austria-Czech-related session they found most helpful or interesting
and post it to the mailing list. That way we can avoid a repeat of the
pre-conference experience of Celia having to post frequent revisions and
additions to a compiled list.

Sharla Levine

-----Original Message-----
From: Sally Goodman [mailto:sbgoody@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 1:28 AM
To: austriaczech@...
Cc: Austria-Czech SIG; Celia MALE; E. Randol SCHOENBERG; Logan J. Kleinwaks;
Thomas F. Weiss
Subject: SIG Meeting at IAJGS Conference

Re Sharla's message to the SIG below.

I attended that meeting and saw the meeting a little differently.
1. The primary topic of discussion was Vivian Kahn's explanation of the
relationship between a SIG and JewishGen and the responsibilites of each to
one another. Vivian did outline the functions of the volunteer positions as
Sharla mentioned in her message.

2. The attendees were anxious to "revitalize" the SIG and to see it thrive.
I found the 30 SIG members positive.

3. As I recall, and I hope I am correct on this, Logan Kleinwaks and Tom
Weiss volunteered to help on a project. There might have been another person
or two but I do not know their names. 20% of those in attendance volunteered
for something. That is a very good percentage.

4. If I understand the guidelines correctly, no project can be started
without JewishGen's approval. Once a project is approved, fundraising for
the project can begin and volunteers can be sought. It seems purposeless to
ask for volunteers when there is no project on the table. Once a project is
made known and the more than 700 SIG members are notified, volunteers will
come forward.

5. As Sharla said, we had many presentations and films relating to
Austria/Czech at the Conference; perhaps those who attended would write a
synopsis for the SIG members who did not attend. I know Celia Male would be
happy to coordinate this and send it out to the membership.

I am sure everyone joins me in thanking Sharla for her role as Coordinator
of the Austria-Czech SIG.

Sally Goodman
Palm Springs, CA
sbgoody@...

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